With the unveiling of Apple’s long-awaited tablet-style computer, educators are likely already wondering how this will affect the landscape of teaching and learning? I’m not sure what everyone else has had in mind, but here’s just my my vision for my class, once I get a technology grant (here’s hoping) to get a classroom set of these:
- Tablets are easier to use on smaller student desktops than laptops have been
- Students can toggle easily between using a stylus to hand-write notes, or the keyboard to type
- Google docs becomes even more widely used in schools.
- Textbook companies sell all books in iBook format, and students read text Kindle-style
- Students use earplugs to assist them in reading
- Students use wiki-style collaboration to create real-time documents and projects
- The $500 price-point opens doors to one-per-child initiative (in my class at least)
- Students can present on the big screen or smart board wirelessly from their tablet
- Students can easily use quiz software (or Google forms) for assessments
- Students can access from home while ill and access the entire content remotely
- Students see the tablet as an extension of their book bag, rather than an alternative to it
- Students will even more seamlessly integrate applications and tools into daily tasks
Sure, the case could be made that most of the items listed above would be no different on a laptop. Nevertheless, the laptop is twice as expensive in most cases, and may not run all the software apps that are available for the iPhone/tablet. Furthermore, the technology at work in the iPad (and certainly in future generations of tablets) is, as I currently understand it, quite different from the typical notebook. Time will certainly tell whether this new offering is a slick gadget which find new ways to do the same things, or if it takes computing in entirely new ways. Regardless of how it is received, I believe it will make classroom computing even more fresh and convenient, and therefore something I look forward to trying out!